The International Monohull Open Class Association (IMOCA) manages the IMOCA 60 class, best known as the yacht of the Vendée Globe.

The association was founded in 1991 and recognized by the International Sailing Federation (now World Sailing) in 1998.

The open design of IMOCA monohulls sets parameters for sailors and designers to innovate in this rapidly developing class, while IMOCA defined rules are intended to limit costs, ensure safety, and create some degree of sporting equity for older designs of the yachts.

The basic parameters are that all IMOCA 60s must be between 59 and 60 feet (18m) hull length (66ft/20.12m LOA) with a maximum draught of 4.5 metres (15ft.)

Other parameters include a maximum mast height of 29m, and a wing mast design. The keel of new designs must be from a single design (although it is canting). There can be no more than 5 hull appendages, including 2 rudders, 1 keel and 2 foils. The rudders and keel must be in a high-visibility colour for safety.

There are also limitations on the number of sails that can be carried onboard in races.

Most IMOCA races are crewed single- or double-handed. The Vendée Globe race is restricted to the IMOCA class and a single skipper whilst events such as the Rolex Fastnet Race usually allows crews of two (or sometimes more) racing in the IMOCA class.

After an extended doldrums crossing and a larger than usual St Helena high forcing the fleet way to the west of the Atlantic The Ocean Race fleet are finally back…

With the first leg of the much-delayed The Ocean Race now concluded, teams are readying themselves to set off on the second leg of of the race, which starts today,…

French skipper Kevin Escoffier led his Swiss-flagged Team Holcim-PRB to victory in leg one of The Ocean Race in the early hours of the morning on Saturday 21 January 2023.…

It’s taken a long time to get the latest fully crewed around the world race off the ground, but finally The Ocean Race will start from Alicante on 15 January…

NOTE: Since this article was published the start date for the Route Du Rhum 2022 has been pushed back to Wednesday 9th November at 1415hrs local time. A major storm…

Pip Hare is a British professional sailor and solo skipper, and the 8th woman ever to finish the Vendée Globe. She needs little introduction to regular readers of Yachting World,…

Non-French sailors who have made a name for themselves in the IMOCA 60 fleet are rare, but German-born Boris Herrmann is just one such international skipper who has impressed. Many singlehanded…

Yannick Bestaven was declared the 2020/21 Vendée Globe winner, having finishing 3rd on the water but earned the win thanks to a time compensation of 10 hours and 15 minutes…

Paul Meilhat was the winner of the IMOCA 60 class in the last Route du Rhum back in 2018, adding that victory to a CV full of podium places and…

Whilst there are some routes that are well-trodden to becoming an IMOCA skipper (Mini Transat, Figaro, Class 40…), there are a variety of routes into the world of offshore shorthanded…

Nothing about Romain Attanasio’s early life indicated that he might end up a solo offshore yacht racer. He was born to a skiing family in the Hautes-Alpes region of France…